In line with his fundamental stance on humanitarian aid, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol plans to provide North Korea with COVID-19 vaccines and other medication.
That's according to spokesperson Kang In-sun who said in a written statement on Friday that specifics will be discussed with the Kim Jong-un regime.
North Korea, just a day after it officially confirmed its first outbreak of COVID-19, revealed through state media on Friday that it's facing a threatening surge in infections that has resulted in six virus-related deaths.
It's prompted Kim Jong-un to lock down the whole country and heavily criticize gaps in his regime's antivirus measures during an inspection of the North's National Quarantine Emergency Command Center on Thursday where he not only called for the isolation of the ill but also the adoption of scientific methods of treatment and the mobilization of medical supplies.
The KCNA reported that Kim was briefed on site regarding over 350-thousand North Koreans that have fallen ill from a fever with an unknown cause since late April, of which around 160-thousand have fully recovered.
Over 18-thousand people were reportedly confirmed with the illness across the North on Thursday alone and among those who have died was one infected with the BA.2 subvariant also known as "stealth Omicron."
Earlier on Thursday, Kim had chaired a Workers' Party meeting to discuss the regime's response to the (quote) "maximum national emergency" where video footage from Korean Central Television showed him wearing a mask in public for the first time.
Radio Free Asia reports the World Health Organization is in touch with the North's health ministry officials and is still committed to offering help on acquiring COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program which the regime has so far declined.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has demanded North Korea immediately set up plans to secure vaccines for its vulnerable population in cooperation with the international community.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.